Discover one of Australia’s most spectacular World Heritage Areas while hiking the world famous Overland Track in the peaceful and exquisite terrain of Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania. It’s all yours to experience on the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk.
Walking the Walk
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk is a six-day, five-night walk. The itinerary maximises opportunities for optional side trips including Mt Ossa – Tasmania’s highest peak (weather permitting), Lake Will and a number of lookouts and waterfalls.
If you choose not to do a side trip, you may retire to the hut and relax with a hot drink, and make the most of our book selection and games.
Each day, you’ll walk between 7-12km (excluding side trips) over varied terrain including button grass plains, temperate rainforests, alpine meadows and open moorland. Wildlife encountered along the way may include wombats, paddymelons, echidnas and an array of birdlife. The Tasmanian Devil also makes this area its home. At the end of the six-day adventure, take the truly spectacular 17km boat trip across Lake St Clair before returning to Launceston.
Walking in the seasons
This Great Walk of Australia operates seasonally from October to early May each year. In the winter months, the Tasmanian Walking Company offers a select number of 8-day winter walk itineraries. In 2017 those departures at August 7, 11 and 20 only. Group size is 12 maximum. Snowshoes and/or crampons are provided if conditions require.
At the end of each day, wind down in the warmth and comfort of the only private hut accommodation on the Overland Track. Cradle Mountain Huts are discreetly located off the main trail and offer hot showers, a drying room and twin-share accommodation. Conscious of the effect of tourism on the environment, the operators of these huts pride themselves on providing luxury accommodation, sustainably. Your guides will prepare an inspired three-course dinner each night while you sit back and relax with a glass of Tasmanian wine.
Day One: Waldheim to Barn Bluff Hut
Walk through ancient rainforest, enjoy spectacular views of Cradle Mountain, walk along the edge of a spectacular glacial cirque, and drop into Waterfall Valley before arriving at Barn Bluff.
Day two: Barn Bluff Hut to Pine Forest Moor Hut
Travel across plains where glaciers once sat. Walk over plains of button grass, by the peaks of Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff.
Day three: Pine Forest Moor Hut to Pelion Plains Hut
A mix of long, slow descents and ascents, from the base of Mt Pelion West down to the Forth River and Lemonthyme Valley, to the beautiful Pelion Plains.
Day four: Pelion Hut to Kia Ora Hut (Final day of Four-Day Itinerary – Pelion Hut to Arm River Valley)
Climb to Pelion Gap; a few hours of gentle downhill from the gap to the hut, with the option of various side trips for a more challenging day of walking.
Final day of Four-Day itinerary: head east across Pelion Plains, following the southern shore of Lake Ayr. Take in stunning views of Mount Pillinger and the peaks along the Overland Track.
Day five: Kia Ora Hut to Windy Ridge Hut
Wander through old-growth forest, take lunch beside waterfalls, walk over Du Cane Gap then descend beside the spectacular Falling Mountain to Windy Ridge Hut.
Day six: Windy Ridge Hut to Lake St Clair
Discover Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest natural lake, walk through cool temperate eucalypt forests, and take the spectacular 17-kilometre boat cruise back to Cynthia Bay. Return to Quamby Estate through the highland lakes.
This graph loosely depicts the gradient of the track, providing you with some basic understanding of how challenging the walk will be. The graphs are useful in helping you decide which walk suits you best. Whatever your ability or fitness, there’s sure to be a walk that suits you in the Great Walks of Australia collection.
* Elevations are indicative only and are not to scale. Walkers should contact individual walk companies to better understand the terrain and difficulty of each walk.
Committed to the Environment
Each hut at Cradle Mountain Huts is architecturally designed to maximise cross-flow ventilation and operate with maximum efficiency with renewable energy.
The remote location of the huts demands that they are autonomous in terms of servicing; rainwater is channelled off the roof into tanks and self-composting, water-free batching toilets are used. Phosphorous-free soap is provided for guests and all waste water is separated through grease traps and sand filters and the residue is physically removed from site regularly, along with all other rubbish. Gas and solar are the only sources of power used for lighting, heating and cooking.
The provisioning of these huts is a unique procedure, once again due to their remote location. Twice each season, supplies of food, wine and gas cylinders are flown in by helicopter over a two day period, while all garbage and waste matter is flown out. Nothing is left within the National Park.